CNPS SCV Blazing Star Logo
California Native Plant Society

Santa Clara Valley Chapter


Winter Planting Extravaganza

Native plants bring beauty and habitat value to your garden, and winter is the best time to plant natives. Our Winter Planting Extravaganza includes two online plant sales and a Seed and Cutting Exchange!

Online Plant Sales

Order pickup for both of these plant sales will be at the Peninsula Conservation Center on Sunday, January 21, 2024 before and during the Seed and Cutting Exchange.

cnps scv online storeCNPS SCV Nursery: Shop online starting at 9am on Monday, January 15. Orders will close at midnight on January 16 or when all of our pickup slots have been filled - whichever comes first.

Grassroots Ecology logoGrassroots Ecology's Nursery: Place your orders here:

 Seed and Cutting Exchange - Sunday, January 21, 2024

Are you a gardener on a budget? Do you like growing things "from scratch"? This is your opportunity to share and receive seeds and cuttings of native plants. The event will be held at the Peninsula Conservation Center, 3921 East Bayshore Road, Palo Alto.

11:00 - 1:00pm - Plant pickup from the online sales at CNPS SCV Nursery and Grassroots Ecology's Nursery

12:00 - 2:00pm - Seed and Cutting Exchange

We need help with this event. If you have time, please sign up at:

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Native Plant Week:April 13 - 20, 2024

2024 native plant week banner

Did you know that California has more native plant species than any other state in the nation? To honor California’s incredible plant life, the California State Legislature designated the third week of April to be California Native Plant Week. Celebrate with our Chapter at one of the many activities we've scheduled during this special week. 

April 19: Photography Group Photo Sharing Meeting

April 20: Vernal Pool Tour (CNPS Members Only),  Lake Cunningham Native Garden Habitat Restoration

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50th Anniversary Celebration & Fall Plant Sale

50th pin 340pxOctober 8, 2022, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Dana Center at Hidden Villa
26870 Moody Road Los Altos Hills, CA 94022

Join us for a celebration of our Chapter's 50th Anniversary and a Fall Plant Sale. This free family–friendly event will have activities for all. No tickets required for entry to the event, but free parking for the event (does not include access to Hidden Villa's hiking trails and farm animals) must be reserved in advance. No free parking without an advance reservation -- parking on the day of the event is $10 and includes access to Hidden Villa's hiking trails and farm animals. Current Chapter members will receive a free commemorative pin at the event.

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Wildflower Show Collectors 

(based on an article in the July-August 2016 Blazing Star Newsletter by Stephen Buckhout)

WildflowersCollectors are an essential part of every wildflower show; without them, and the plants they gather, there would be no show. 

A Day in the Life

Collecting supplies Collectors begin early in the day gathering all of the items they will need and loading them into their vehicles: bottles, buckets, clippers, loppers, extra water, newspaper or other material to wrap around collected specimens, a log for tracking the items collected, any required collecting permits, lunch, and clothing appropriate for whatever weather the day might bring.

Stella Ken keyingSome days are hot, some are cold, and some are windy and wet, challenging even the hardiest collectors. Since flowers are best viewed in the day or two immediately after collection, there is little opportunity to wait for better weather. Collectors need sharp eyes, plant identification skills and a good memory to spot their target plants as they travel specific routes looking for flowers in bloom, collecting one or two samples of each to display at the show. They often work in groups of two or three.

Back at the Show

Once back at the show location, each specimen's identification is checked.  Any specimens that cannot be identified in the field must be keyed to determine the correct identification, work often done by the same individuals who did the collecting.

Georgia - runnerAfter identification is verified, the plant samples are placed in a display bottle and handed off to a runner, who will pull the corresponding species card and place the specimen in the appropriate location based on either the correct plant family or the relevant plant community. In the absence of runners, some collectors pull their own cards and place their specimens in the correct locations.

Collectors are among the last to leave the show location on the day prior to the event and may never be seen by those who attend the show. In a sense, they are like Santa Claus and his elves, toiling behind the scenes to deliver beautiful gifts to a public they may never meet.

Thanks to our Collectors!Wildflower Display

Wildflower Show - 2024

Bringing Biodiversity Home

Please join us on Saturday, April 27, 2024 from 9:30 am - 4 pm for our 49th Wildflower Show at West Valley College. This family-friendly event features hundreds of native wildflowers and plants on display as well as a variety of activities for all ages. The event and parking are all free to the public. Our keynote speaker this year is Bart O'Brien with a talk on Creating Habitat and Beauty in your Garden with Native Plants.

The show will feature hundreds of species of wildflowers and native plants from Santa Clara, San Mateo and surrounding counties gathered and identified by our volunteer collectors. In addition to local plants, we will have a section featuring flowers from native plant gardens in our Chapter.

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Wildflower Festival

Wildflower Festival - April 23, 2022Saturday, April 23th, 2022 from 10:00 AM to 3 PM

The Santa Clara Valley Chapter of CNPS is celebrating California Native Plant Week with a Wildflower Festival on Saturday, April 23. The event will be held  at the Dana Center at Hidden Villa in Los Altos Hills, from 10 am to 3 pm. This event replaces our previously scheduled Wildflower Show at West Valley College on the same date.

We welcome the whole family with fun outdoor activities and an exhibit of wildflowers. Experts will be on site to describe different samples and answer questions. You can also stop by our wildflower seed table to take home some free seeds to sow this fall/winter. This will create spring beauty in your own garden – which can also feed nectar to butterflies, act as host plants for caterpillars, and provide essential habitat for native bees and insects. 

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2021 Fall Plant Sale

2020 plant sale sign

Native Plant Sale & More

Saturday October 9

There's a twist to our 2021 plant sale - you have to purchase your plants online in advance. From October 2 through October 7 order online from the CNPS SCV Nursery store and the Grassroots Ecology Nursery.

Then schedule a time to join us on October 9th at the Dana Center at Hidden Villa to pick your plants up and shop for native plant-related items from:

No drop-ins. Even though we will be outdoors, masks are mandatory. If you forget to bring yours, we will provide one.

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Arcadia Place Pollinator Garden

Arcadia Place Pollinator Garden

This is one of several Palo Alto pollinator gardens created by landscape architect, Juanita Salisbury. They are part of the planned corridor to provide pollinators with food between the Baylands and Foothills Park/Pearson-Arastradero Preserve as outlined in Palo Alto's Master Plan for 2030. More information about the gardens and future plans is available in this article in the Palo Alto Weekly.

Plant List

Address on Google maps.



Attend a talk & learn about native plants.

Wildflower Shows

Alum Rock Park Wildflower Festival 2014, Coastal Wildflower Day 2015, Wildflower Show at Hidden Villa 2015, etc.

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Upcoming Events

Thu Jun 20 @ 7:00PM - 09:00PM
CNPS SCV Board Meeting
Fri Jun 21 @ 9:00AM - 12:00PM
Friday Edgewood Restoration
Sat Jun 22 @ 8:00AM - 10:00AM
Lake Cunningham Native Garden
Sat Jun 22 @ 9:00AM - 12:30PM
“Power to the Pollinators” Summer Native Plant Community Tour
Sat Jun 22 @ 9:00AM - 11:00AM
Community Work Day at the Native Plant Garden in Kirk Park
Sun Jun 23 @ 9:00AM - 12:00PM
Bird and Plant ID Walk at Lake Cunningham Park (San Jose)
Tue Jun 25 @ 7:00PM - 09:00PM
Native Plant ID
Fri Jun 28 @ 9:00AM - 12:00PM
Friday Edgewood Restoration
Fri Jun 28 @ 7:00PM - 08:50PM
Photography Group - Photo Sharing Meeting
Sat Jun 29 @ 8:00AM - 10:00AM
Lake Cunningham Native Garden